Thuy Smith Outreach International- Living on Purpose

Health and Wellness, Mindfulness, Spirituality, Relationships, Lessons Learned, Recovery, Healing, Empowerment


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Sometimes Life Takes A Different Turn Than What We Had Planned

 

This was never so clear to me after I sustained an injury and other health issues developed. I had moved to a new community and had all these plans I was looking forward to. Some of the plans were to simply relax and regroup after years of working with many people.

I had so many more things I wanted to do. Instead I end up in my new community isolated due to my injury and other health issues without having a chance to meet anyone new yet. My husband’s job kept him from being home a week at a time. I had limited contact with him during these times. I didn’t want to worry family so I kept a lot of struggles to myself other than sharing with my husband. My family would worry and then that would just stress me out. This was especially hard since my health issues I was developing had no real answers at the time. I had to learn to become my own advocate. Finally, I stopped pursuing help from conventional medicine and started doing my own research. Eventually I made my way to naturopathic care. This is where I finally started getting confirmations to my research along with other answers.

I was sick, searching for answers, and finally treated in a period of 2 1/2 years. I wondered at times if I would ever get answers and or get better. I am a naturally optimistic person, although a realist, but I had my moments of struggle and feeling depressed through it all. I wondered at times if God forgotten about me and if I would ever get better. I’ve gone through some real trials in my life but this was probably the hardest. There were times I just wanted to sleep and not wake up. I just wanted peace and the suffering to stop. It wasn’t a matter of feeling sorry for myself, it was a very real struggle. Your health is everything and when you aren’t getting answers, it adds to the stress. At times you are in a very dark place.

Fortunately I didn’t give up. I was determined to get answers, and better. I was proactive and did many things to help myself. Besides doing my research, I sought out support groups, a counselor to help me cope, worked hard on changing my diet and incorporated regular exercise and meditation, and focused on the things that gave me a sense of joy and purpose.

After my health finally improved, I had mixed feelings. I was grateful and yet unclear on what I was supposed to do next. At first I felt an urgency to make up for “lost time”.  There were ideas running in my head about what I could do, what I should do. Of course no real peace followed.

So, I have come to the point that I need to do what I’ve always known and done in the past. Stop doing! Simply be still, in the moment, and let my intuition and spirit speak to me. Breathe. Be grateful for where I’m at now compared to where I was.

There are different seasons in life and simply life that just happens. What are the lessons learned? How have I, how can I grow from this? How can what I’ve been through be used to serve a greater purpose?

And at the same time…. relax, sit back, disconnect my brain and allow myself to simply listen.

Sometimes things don’t work out as we had first planned, but I’ve been reminded to be grateful for what I do have, what I’ve learned through my trials and challenges and appreciating that.

While I am “doing nothing” my life still has purpose and value. Sometimes we are simply in the meantime and the meantime isn’t necessarily a bad place to be. It can be a time to rest, heal, and learn something, although difficult, that will change our life and prepare us for something greater that’s to come.

In the meantime, I will trust and be grateful in the moment.

“So, what if, instead of thinking about solving your whole life,

you just think about adding additional good things.

One at a time, Just let you pile of good things grow.”

Author Unknown

 

 

 

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Recovery- what does it mean? We all could use a little recovery sometimes.

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Recovery- what does it mean? We all could use a little recovery sometimes.

When a person enters and works through recovery, they become a different person in some ways and yet in other ways remain the same. People begin to have more of a sense of self and are at peace with that, both the good and the “bad”.

Recovery is not always easy. Stopping the using was the “easy part”, but there is all the other work of self-reflection and forgiveness. Forgiveness is in some ways easier to have for others than it is for yourself.

What does recovery mean really? Well I feel first of all it doesn’t have to be a term referring only to people who have found or are seeking recovery from chemical dependency. It can apply to anyone. Anyone can use a “Recovery” from time to time.

Recovery to me means recovery of one’s self. In this way, don’t we all need to find this from time to time?

We lose ourselves when…………….
We don’t draw boundaries with people

When we don’t know how to say no

When we take on more than what is realistic and put too much expectation on ourselves

When we over extend ourselves for whatever reason

When we don’t own our truth and be willing to express- No, I don’t like that or I need this in my life right now

When we are not gentle and forgiving of ourselves

When we don’t take time to slow down to be in the moment and let our mind, body, and spirit rest

It can be easy to fall in any of these traps.

It’s good to not be selfish because that is not only an undesirable characteristic to have; it is never going to be sustainable. At the same time there is the other extreme. Sometimes people are so worried, especially women and all the more if they are mothers, that if they took care of some of their own needs they should feel ashamed of that.

One time I heard person say that “taking care of your self is not selfish, it is Self-full”. When we are full, we are more able to better take care of others, let alone ourselves.

In the end, we are all the same and wanting the same things- Love, to be heard, and know that we have value. So allow yourself permission to recover. We all need a little recovery sometimes. It’s OK and there is NO shame in it.


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There is no love from someone else if I can’t love myself

Self-love and self-care is not selfish, but rather self-full.

Fill yourself up  first so you are able to pour into others,

while not burning yourself out.

See Powerful Video clip


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Feelings are something we have the most of but know the least of how to deal with

Aurora Community Counseling
Wendy Prigge LSW-CSAC
Guest Post

Aurora Community Counseling was a partner (Honorary Sponsor) with TSOI’s past Recovery Month events.

*No Blogs were meant to substitute professional counseling or other assistance

_______________________________________________________________________

Image result for feelings and addiction recovery

Feelings are something we have the most of but know the least of how to deal with. We learn from our role models who are often our parents, grandparents, other family members, teachers, or a friend. Sometimes we have good role models and sometimes not. Some families are very open and too much in everyone’s business. Some are very quiet and avoid sharing much of anything. People go through life avoiding any significant disclosures which leads to people playing roles trying to be the kind of person they think others expect.

In chemical dependent families there is usually the “NO TALK” rule. There can be an elephant in the living room but no one talks about it. The family pretends everything is ok. Everyone is expected to protect the family by keeping the dirty laundry a secret. The family members are expected to seek help only within the family but even within the family we don’t talk about certain things such as how mom or dad acted last night when he or she was drinking. This is what we call denial. It occurs with the family and with the person who is chemically dependent or alcoholic.

So why would we talk about feelings in recovery? People addicted to alcohol and drugs use or drink for relief. The first symptom of this disease is to use or drink for relief. The second symptom of the disease is constant relief using or drinking. The number one trigger for those who are alcoholic to drink again is negative emotional effect or negative feelings. So people with chemical dependence stuff their feelings. The whole family learns to stuff feelings. Because people who are alcoholic learn to stuff their feelings they don’t learn to cope with uncomfortable feelings. This leaves them at risk for relapse.

So why are feelings important anyway? What is the big deal? Our feelings are a big part of who we are. We need to be able to identify them and share them with the people closest to us so they can know us. When we hide our feeling people have to guess what you are feeling. People may assume they know what you are feeling which leads to wrong assumptions. This can lead to conflict. The people who want to know us such as our family and friends can be left in the dark.

Some people who are alcoholic or chemically dependent get high or drunk and do or say things that are very upsetting or mean. Often there are broken promises, broken trust, and strained relationships in families where drinking or drug use occurs. This behavior can result in hurt and angry feelings. Families and people who are chemically dependent need to be able to sort through their problems and feelings from the past to repair their relationships.

Healing occurs when people are able to share honestly and openly without fear. We are human beings that are alive and always growing and changing. We have feelings that are comfortable or uncomfortable but not good or bad. Our feelings are our very personal possessions and need to be managed as they come. In recovery we need to be able to identify our feelings, avoid suppressing them, and develop coping skills to manage them.  We need to know how to share our feelings appropriately. They are always changing.

Related Posts-

Recidivism in Recovery, Our emotions our not our enemy  although belief systems may be

Passive, assertive, aggressive

*TSOI recognizes that the lack of communication not only happens to families where substance abuse is involved, but to a variety of families and situations. Just because alcohol or other drugs may not be involved doesn’t mean that the dynamics in the family are healthy.


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A Perfect Person

A Perfect Person

Never hurt anyone.  Doesn’t Cry.  Doesn’t fail.   Doesn’t Exist.

We all have some place where we fall short…..spiritual progress versus perfection.

Acknowledge, make amends if needed, learn, forgive yourself, move on……..GROW.

“Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make you a far happier and more productive person”.  Dr. David M. Burns